calli (T2773:8:50r)

calli (T2773:8:50r)

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This is an iconographic element found on a pictorial manuscript from Tzinacantepec, Toluca Valley. The house (calli), shown in profile facing right, sits on a green-shaded square, which may represent a house lot (callalli or solar, a Spanish loanword that became Nahuatlized as xolal), though the absence of a Nahuatl gloss makes this difficult to determine. While the house is rendered in profile, this possible lot is shown from above. The building features a T-shaped beam around its entrance, and rests on a thin horizontal platform at its base. At the rear of the structure is a small vertical rectangle which may be another architectural feature. The calli is one of four houses, two each of which flank an image of a church on each side (see the contextualizing image).

Description, Credit: 

Robert Haskett

Added Analysis: 

The pictorial upon which the iconographic image of the house appears dates from c. 1579. According to the Spanish gloss on the manuscript, the building belonged to “San simon, sugeto de cinacantepeque” (San Simón, subject community of Tzinacantepec, or Zinacantepec, today). The pictorial was presented in evidence during an investigation triggered by a request from a man named Juan de Mogollón for a viceregal grant of two caballerías de tierra near the Indigenous community. For more information see: Miguel Ángel Ruz Barrio, “Las huellas del ganado en el valle de Matlatzinco en el siglo XVI a través de los mapas hispanoindígenas/Tracing Livestock in the Matlatzinco Valley in the 16th century through Hispanic-Indigenous Maps,” Relaciones, Estudios de Historia y Sociedad, 40:160 (dic. 2019), E-pub, 19 Nov. 2020.

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Robert Haskett

Source Manuscript: 
Date of Manuscript: 


Creator's Location (and place coverage): 

Zinacantepec, Toluca Valley

Cultural Content & Iconography: 
Cultural Content, Credit: 

Robert Haskett


houses, buildings, structures, casas, edificios

Glyph or Iconographic Image: 
Relevant Nahuatl Dictionary Word(s): 

cal(li), house, building, structure,

Glyph/Icon Name, Spanish Translation: 

una casa

Spanish Translation, Credit: 

Robert Haskett

Image Source: 

Single-page codex, Archivo General de la Nación, México, Ramo de Tierras Vol. 2773, Exp. 8, Fol. 50r.

Image Source, Rights: 

The Archivo General de la Nación (AGN), México, holds the original manuscript. This image is published here under a Creative Commons license, asking that you cite the AGN and this Visual Lexicon of Aztec Hieroglyphs.

Historical Contextualizing Image: